Important victory for democracy and freedom

New York, NY. Monday, October 3, 2011—Today, award-winning journalist Amy Goodman announced that a final settlement has been reached in a federal lawsuit brought by Goodman and Democracy Now! producers Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar against the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul and the U.S. Secret Service, challenging the policies and conduct of law enforcement at the 2008 Republican National Convention in the Twin Cities.

Goodman and her colleagues were unlawfully arrested and subject to excessive force while reporting on public protest and political dissent surrounding the Convention.

“When journalists are arrested, it is not only a violation of the freedom the press, but of the public’s right to know,” said Ms. Goodman. “When journalists are handcuffed and abused, so is democracy. We should not have to get a record when we put things on the record.”

… the federal lawsuit asserted that the government cannot, in the name of security, limit the flow of information by intimidating and arresting journalists who engaged in constitutionally protected reporting on speech protected by the First Amendment such as dissent or law enforcement activities.

…Ms. Salazar was filming a demonstration outside the Republican National Convention when riot police cornered her, forced her violently to the ground, bloodying her face, handcuffed her and disabled her camera, all while ignoring her protests that she was a member of the press. Mr. Kouddous, who was also covering the protests, tried to come to Ms. Salazar’s aid by explaining to the police she and he were journalists; the police slammed him against the wall and repeatedly kicked him in the chest. Ms. Goodman, upon hearing that her colleagues were arrested, rushed to the scene from the convention floor and asked to speak with a supervising police officer. Without any lawful basis, police pulled Ms. Goodman over a police line and arrested her. All three journalists were detained for several hours. Mr. Kouddous was again unlawfully arrested three days later along with a large group of journalists. All charges against the journalists were later dropped. Videos of the violent arrests are available on CCR’s legal case page. Video of their arrests is also available at

Categories: Democracy, Journalism

3 replies »

  1. Interesting but in the end nothing happened to those that carried out this unlawful action.
    But the reporting was stopped, so they were successful.
    What needs to be realized that in this chain of events there is never a “do over clause”.
    How many more times will this story repeat itself but with different players?


  2. This is just how low the U.S. has sunk. A fascist regime with a police state. Where freedom of speech is not permitted. Where decent people are beat and arrested for daring to oppose the regime. There is no freedom of the press in the U.S.

    Same in Canada. When an amputee lost his prosthetic leg, he was dragged by police and thrown into the “detainee” wire fence. There were several atrocities on that day.

    The Canadian media are a disgrace to their professions. In Canada they won't be arrested, they are pro government stooges. Freedom of the press is permitted. As long as they are against the people.


  3. What about the rights of an ordinary citizen? Are we not allowed to record events from the sidelines?
    The recent Wall St. demonstrations had bystanders being pulled out of crowds by the police simply because they had a camera.


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